Spectrum Cinema

2660 Augusta Drive,
Houston, TX 77057

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RyanToDaF2044 on January 18, 2022 at 4:40 pm

An interesting read about the Spectrum: https://milton.substack.com/p/three-cathedrals

RyanToDaF2044 on June 29, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Sadly, it seems I never went to this theater. Oh well.

RyanToDaF2044 on June 28, 2021 at 6:15 pm

We still need more pictures of this theater!

rlynwil on June 19, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Hello I am the former Cineplex Odeon executive who opened the Specturm, Presidio Sq, River Oaks, and Sharpstown. I had been Director of theatre operations for New York and New Jersey prior to moving back to Houston to oversee the expanding prescence of Cineplex Odeon.

In the late seventy’s I was the south Texas district supervisior for Plitt Theatres, at that time we had West Oaks Mall, Plitt Cinema5, Woodlake, Alabama, Clearlake, as well as theatres in Lake Jackson and Baytown in the houston area. We also had theatres San Antonio, Austin, the Rio Grande Valley.

I started with the Theatres when they were part of ABC later changed to Interstate then purchased by Henry Plitt (Plitt Theatres) and finally for me Cineplex odeon.

I find it hard to believe the theatres are all gone for the most part, seems like yesterday but I left the industry 23 years ago.

RyanToDaF2044 on January 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Someone out there needs to post more information (and pics) regarding this theatre as well as the Cineplex Odeon that used to be in the Montrose/River Oaks area. I’m also certain there were more than two Cineplex Odeon theaters here in the greater Houston area as well. Though I could be wrong.

johncoeland on March 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Spectrum came on line at the height of the Cineplex Odeon expansion during the late 80’s and 90’s. They even got into distribution with Cineplex Odeon Films. However, as a company, they over-extended themselves to the point of near bankruptcy. Loews swooped in in 1998. Big mistake for Loews. Cineplex had a reputation for taking on huge lease payments. Today, after the Loews Cineplex bankruptcy is a distant memory, most of the original Cineplex locations are long gone as well…

jamestv on June 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

It closed mostly because of the Loew’s bankruptcy but the parking was atrocious because of a too small lot! It was a nice theatre with 3 70MM screens—saw The Abyss and Doctor Zhivago there in 70.

sepiatone on October 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I found the original ad for the Spectrum Cinema. It opened on June 24, 1988. The Spectrum was billed as “the return of the elegant theater.” According to the ad, the Spectrum’s popcorn was served with real butter. Each cinema featured Dolby Surround Sound, with Lucasfilm THX sound in three of them. The Spectrum had marble floors and artwork by John Noestheden, and it was originally a Cineplex Odeon Theater.

The Gables Augusta Apartments now stand on the Spectrum’s site.

robsan on January 18, 2009 at 10:28 pm

I remember seeing a special showing of “Giant” when Spectrum opened in 1988. Last film I saw there was “Titanic”. Hard to believe this place is gone.

Shari on September 9, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Thanks! I’ll check it out. If this is the one, then I mostly remember it for the free shows – the ones where you bring in the flyer and walk in.

The first one I saw was King Ralph. They had a zany guy making jokes before the show, DJs giving away goodies, stuff like that. Of all the free screenings I’ve seen since, this one still holds the record for “most enthusiastic pre-show.” (Pretty sad, really.)

The next free screening I saw here was for Thelma and Louise. I took my mom, who was so impressed that you just walk in without paying, she more than gave them there money back in popcorn, candy, and soda. :) I didn’t know what T&L was about, but after the King Ralph experience, I assured her that there would probably be a lot of giveaways and marketing craziness before the show.

Hah. There was nothing. The movie just started without any fanfare. (Of course, given the nature of the film, this was appropriate.) We both enjoyed the show, and when we stepped outside, there were TV cameras everywhere. “Ah, here we go,” I said. Except, oops again, it was all for Backdraft, which was having a free screening that same night. Pft!

I moved from Houston not long after that, but the cinema was so new and clean and well-promoted then – I can’t quite wrap my head around it being gone.

KingBiscuits on September 8, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I think this was the one since the theatre seemed to get most of the big Houston exclusives. Check the Houston Chronicle website archives (I think I read something like that from their archives.

Shari on September 8, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I’m trying to remember the “shiny, new, multiplex” cinema off Westheimer that had all those protesters out front when Last Temptation of the Christ came out. This one seems likely. Can anyone confirm?